Health fair kicks off Parent Center’s fifth year
The Niles Township English Language Learners' Parent Center this month hosted a student achievement awards ceremony at Niles West High School. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS ELL PARENT CENTER
WHAT: Annual health fair
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 7
WHERE: 9440 Kenton Ave.
AVAILABLE: dental screenings, physicals
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:20PM
The Niles Township Schools English Language Learner Parent Center will kick off its fifth year just as it has the past few years.
A health fair is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 7 at its facility at 9440 N. Kenton Ave.
Niles Township Schools ELL Parent Center Director Corrie Wallace expects about 75 people to participate in the health fair, which is free. Although only 14 were signed up as of last week, the health fair usually draws many walk-ins and people who sign up late.
The fair includes dental screenings and physicals among other useful services.
When the ELL Center first sponsored the health fair, it was scheduled in August. Rather than hold the event just before school starts, Wallace said, an earlier date made sense because more medical practitioners are available and fewer people are out of town.
“The health fair is one of the few programs we offer that is for the students and not just for the parents of students,” Wallace said.
Wallace said she has received calls this year from parents who had difficulty believing services were free. But that’s always been the case except for years when medical shots were offered for a nominal fee.
The health fair fits the center’s mission because medical services are not always affordable for parents, and some coming from new countries find it more comfortable to use such services in this venue.
Since the Niles Township Schools ELL Parent Center opened in 2008, it has provided services like the health fair and many others to well over 700 people from diverse families.
“The center serves as a welcome resource for parents to support them in advocating for their children’s academic achievement,” the center’s website states. “Ultimately the center strives to provide the skills and tools to understand and navigate the U.S. educational system for the rich and diverse tapestry that is the backdrop for 16 schools in Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, and Niles.”
Some programs available this year include a family literacy and reading class funded by a Penny Severns Grant; a reading class for both parents and their children focussed on Chicago history; an expanded booking with a buddy program; and much more.
Wallace has always been adept at keeping an eye out for what parents needed to help them assimilate into a new culture. She has also been keen on finding resources to support the center.
The latest example is a cookbook recently created by intern Tanya Batti. The cookbook with recipes from the parents and volunteers at the center and was printed pro-bono by a local company (Triangle Printers, Inc. Skokie).
The cookbooks are available at the center for $10 to support the center.